TROY, Mich., Oct. 15, 2021 — Today, the Michigan United Cerebral Palsy (MI-UCP) awarded state Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) with the Public Policy Award at the Mary Ann Greenawalt Annual Awards Presentation.
The Public Policy Award recognizes an individual who demonstrated a relentless pursuit of closing the disability divide.
“MI-UCP does incredible work on behalf of the disability community, and I am honored to accept this award,” Kuppa said. “In order to have a strong, equitable, and inclusive society, it is vital that everyone, including individuals with disabilities, feels welcomed, accepted, and respected. I will continue to do everything in my power to stand up and fight for all in our community.”
One piece of legislation Kuppa has championed in her time in the Legislature is House Bill 4159, which aims to close a loophole in the law to protect vulnerable adults from being sexually exploited online by instituting a criminal penalty to hold sexual predators accountable and discourage repeat offenses. This legislation, also known as “Justice for Allie,” comes from a courageous family of constituents, the Hayes family, whose daughter Allie was taken advantage of by an online predator, who targeted her due to her status as a vulnerable adult with Down Syndrome.
“One of my top priorities is to make our most vulnerable adults feel safer while using the internet, especially as the internet has become a primary method of communication in our daily lives,” Kuppa said. “We must make it abundantly clear that exploiting our vulnerable populations will never be tolerated.”
The “Justice for Allie” legislation has been the first bill Kuppa has introduced during both of her terms thus far. This term, “Justice for Allie” is part of a bipartisan bill package consisting of HB 4159 and HB 4160, with state Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland) sponsoring the latter bill.